Ducks Stat-urday: Anatomy of a Losing Streak

Just in case you forgot what this looks like. - USA TODAY Sports

It's a small sample size (and hopefully it stays that way), but there's lots of numbers to digest about the Ducks' recent losing streak.

This hasn’t exactly been a fun week in Ducks land. On the heels of their fourth straight loss (written before Chicago, come on reverse-magumbo!), I wanted to take a deep look at the numbers behind the losing streak to see if we can identify any trends.

Goals, Shots, and Periods

In their four games, the Ducks have been outscored by a combined 16-5, good for a GAA of 4 and a goals per game of 1.25. They’ve tallied 117 shots and given up 112 shots against, for an average of 29.25 shots for and 28 shots against per game during the streak.

Finally, here’s the breakdown of scoring by period over the streak

Period

Opponents

Ducks

1

9

1

2

3

2

3

4

2

That’s just ugly, no matter how you look at it. We’ve been outscored by nearly three goals a game during the losing streak and the only reason those shot totals look OK is because we’ve been in catch-up mode in every game. The first period goal numbers are particularly hideous, with the Ducks going minus-8 in the first period over the stretch. The Ducks appear to have played their best hockey in the second period of games during the stretch, although some of that can probably be attributed to the Red Wings and the Sharks stepping off the gas with such large leads.

The team has talked a lot about the need to start better, and for good reason. On the entire season, the Ducks have been outscored in the first period 36-27. They’ve done most of their damage in the second and third periods, outscoring opponents 38-22 and 33-25. So yeah, even though this isn’t a new trend, the difference prior to the streak is that we were able to mitigate the damage and score enough to make up for our penchant to start slow. During the streak? Not so much.

Special Teams

We know that slow starts have been a problem. But have penalties fueled this fire? During the losing streak, the Ducks have been shorthanded 15 times and have had ten PP opportunities. They’ve given up three goals and have scored one power play goal, good for a success rate of 80% on the kill and only 10% on the power play. They’ve also given up one shorthanded goal over that stretch and an empty net goal.

The PK hasn’t killed the Ducks, but the power play has been all sorts of ugly. The fact they’ve also given up a shortie during the losing streak pretty much negates the only power play goal they’ve scored. I’m no hockey expert, but the problem with the power play seems to be related to the team’s other ills, which is that they’re simply getting outworked for loose pucks and are not doing a good job of puck recovery when they have a man advantage.

Key Players

Let’s now take a look at our key players and see how they have fared during the losing streak.

Player

Goals

Assists

Points

Shots

+/-

Ryan Getzlaf

1

1

2

13

-4

Corey Perry

1

2

3

15

-4

Teemu Selanne

1

0

1

8

-2

Bobby Ryan

0

1

1

12

-1

Saku Koivu

0

1

1

4

-4

Francois Beauchemin

1

0

1

4

-1

Sheldon Souray

0

0

0

8

1

Cam Fowler

0

2

2

6

-2

*Other Ducks goal scorer over this stretch was Emerson Etem

Yeesh. Perry, Getz, and Bobby are at least shooting, but everyone (save Sheldon Souray) is getting victimized while they’re on the ice. The minus-4 ratings for Perry, Getz, and Koivu particularly sting, especially since Perry and Getz chew up the most ice time among our forwards and Koivu is supposed to be our best defensive forward. At any rate, it’s hard to make a case that anyone is really performing well. Perry does have three points, but he’s also been directly responsible for several of the goals against. And it’s worth noting that since his extension, Perry has more fights (2) than goals (1).

Finally, both Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth have seen two games in net during this stretch (though Fasth was pulled in the first Detroit game after giving up three goals). Hiller has given up eight goals on 62 shots, for a save percentage of .871. Fasth has given up seven goals on 49 shots, for a save percentage of .857.

So yeah. I guess Hiller has shit the bed a little less than Fasth?

Conclusion

Losing sucks, and right now, it can’t be pinned on one player. From the forwards, to the D, to the goaltenders, the overall play has just been uninspired. If I had to single out one factor that must be addressed, it’s that massive differential in first period scoring. Of course, that’s easier said than done, given that the Ducks have struggled all year to get off to solid starts.

What I’d really like to see is a total shakeup of the forwards. What Bruce has been doing over the past four games has clearly not worked. Guys like Etem and Winnik probably deserve more ice time while Perry, Bobby, and Teemu could all use some motivation.

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